Anyone who enjoys watches and follows the launch of new timepieces keenly will know that this is the year of the Reverso. 2021 is the year Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most recognised design turned 90, and the brand went all out with launches to commemorate the occasion. Sure, the Reverso is an iconic line, its lineage, innovation, and patrimony constituting an undeniablly important part of watchmaking history. But I’d argue that the comparatively new Rendez-Vous line deserves equal attention. And for good measure, I spent some time with the Rendez-Vous Classic Night & Day 29mm on pink gold to reach this conclusion.
Given the launch of the line in 2012, Rendez-Vous is just under a decade old, making it a young entrant in the world of horology. But it’s important to know what it represents. Long before the days of women’s mechanical timepieces finding a seat at the watchmakers’ table, Jaeger-LeCoultre realised the potential of creating them. Rendez-Vous was a line specially created for women, with its own mechanical movement -- calibre 976A -- and with craftsmanship and a design that would appeal to them. With an Art Deco inspiration and sometimes bejewelled, the circular case (a move away from the rectangle of the Reverso) was decidedly elegant, poetic even (more on this with reference to the model we held and tried).
Since 2012, Rendez-Vous models have been made available in 29mm, 34mm, and 36mm, and have gone to house high complications in the Celestial, Perpetual Calendar, Tourbillon Night and Day watches, once again ratifying that women indeed were interested in high complications. It has featured ingenious artistry in the context of gem-setting. Its iterations, in both bracelet and leather straps have expanded its scope to make it all-occasion watches.
I had the opportunity to experience this, when I got my hands on the Ref 3462130, the Rendez-Vous Classic Night & Day in pink gold. A 29mm watch, it is perhaps a piece that epitomises the ethos of the line perfectly.
Rendez-Vous Classic Night & Day’s 18K pink gold case houses a silvered grey dial that is guilloched. On it feature printed hour markers that resonate an Art Deco vibe. The face is 2D, divided by a dotted pattern into two circular sectors. Just above 6 o’clock, the day-night indicator is seen through a semi-circular aperture, the whimsical pink gold crescent moon and stars of the night giving way to the flame-like rays of the sun at the turn of midnight. The hour, minute, and second hands are also in pink gold. On the bezel are 60 diamonds of .42 carats each that add a touch of flair to the piece without the gems feeling forced. The entire ensemble closes in at a case thickness of 8.8mm.
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The case of the Rendez-Vous Classic Night & Day epitomises the essence of the Rendez-Vous line – feminine, elegant, and with gem-setting that does not go over the top. The rose gold may make it seem like the watch is an occasion piece, but I tried it with my daily workwear and nothing about the watch seemed out of place with the ensemble. The day-night indicator gives the watch that poetic touch, and at 29mm, the size is perfectly to suited to any feminine wrist.
The Rendez-Vous line is known for another feature -- its small calibres. This comes as no surprise when you see it in light of the fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed the world’s smallest calibre, the 101. But that shouldn’t stop one from celebrating the technical prowess of Rendez-Vous’ calibres.
Beating inside the 29mm Rendez-Vous Classic Night & Day is calibre 976A. The automatic movement has a 203 components, and a frequency of 28800 vibrations per hour. Visible through the transparent caseback is the movement, which clocks in a height of 4.05 mm. The watch has a power reserve of approximately 38 hours, and a water resistance of 30 mts.
The case is flanked by a rose gold bracelet whose links sit comfortably on the wrist. The folding clasp further ensures ease of use.
All in all, the Rendez-Vous Classic Night & Day 29mm in pink gold perfectly toes the line between mechanics and aesthetics when it comes to women’s watches. All-purpose in look and feel, the attention to detail in it, starting from the dial to the craftsmanship of the day-night elements to the detailled central and peripheral ring, make it worthy of, as its name suggest, being a classic.
The watch is priced at ₹32,10,000, and is available at the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique in New Delhi.